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The Scintillation Observations & Response of the Ionosphere to Electrodymanics (SORTIE) mission was designed to map and further understand the ionosphere’s wave-like plasma perturbation distributions. SORTIE deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020 and demonstrated the first successful integration, ground calibration and flight of a single-aperture ion velocity meter instrument package for ionospheric measurements from a CubeSat. As a pathfinder mission, SORTIE opens the door to a “constellation of SORTIEs” that would then help provide an instantaneous global view of the Earth’s ionospheric structure and activity.


Striving to bridge gaps and improve the functionality of space-based environmental monitoring (SBEM) systems, the United States Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) sought a commercial prototype electro-optical / infrared weather system (EWS) mission capable of characterizing global clouds in near real-time to support Department of Defense operations. SSC selected Orion Space Solutions to produce the EWS Rapid Revisit Optical Cloud Imager (EWS RROCI). EWS RROCI utilizes commercial off-the-shelf systems to produce cloud characterization and is set to launch in March  2024.

image of a view of the earth from space


Orion Space Solutions supports a diverse range of missions. The breadth of mission needs showcases our adaptability and depth of expertise across all operational domains. Our foundation in space science and physics allows us to deliver high-quality products and services to defense and civilian customers, and create technology solutions that can be used on Earth, in space and everywhere in between. 


With the entrance of new international partici­pants in space and with the rapid expansion of com­mercial activities in low Earth orbit (LEO), the number of space objects needing high-fidelity tracking is growing very quickly. The USSF currently tracks more than 29,000 ob­jects in LEO, up from 20,000 just a few years ago. To address this challenge, Orion developed Dragster which improves the limitations of existing atmospheric drag models with its assimilative frame­work. This forward-look­ing design means that the Dragster tool can be op­timized to leverage an ensemble of models most appropriate for the task at hand, and future improve­ments to any such models will flow directly into Drag­ster performance.

OSVW Sensor

Ocean surface vector wind data is critical for weather models, forecasts, ship maneuvers and flight operations for all armed services, as well as commercial maritime shipping and drilling operations. Orion developed a SmallSat form-factor payload that uses the reflection of global positioning system signals off the ocean to measure sea state and ocean surface vector winds (OSVW) for weather forecasting. The sensor is still on-orbit and we continue to collect and analyze the data.


EDGE is the world's first small-scale topographic and bathymetric scanning LiDAR that can detect small underwater objects, measure shallow water depth, and survey critical underwater infrastructure from a small UAV platform—developed and produced at Orion. EDGE provides high-definition measurements both above and below the water surface and accurately measures the transition from land to water. Additionally, the tool provides simultaneous water and bottom surface detection at sub-centimeter accuracy and precision from shore through shallow waters—an industry first.

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